THE government is still struggling to raise $15 million to complete the upgrading of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (JMN) in Bulawayo, more than three years after it was commissioned by President Robert Mugabe.
Source: Govt struggling to raise $15m for JMN airport upgrade – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 8, 2017
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Mugabe commissioned the airport terminal on December 22, 2013 after the project had dragged on for over a decade, raising questions on the government’s commitment to honour the late liberation icon, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe public relations and communications manager, Annajulia Hungwe told NewsDay that the upgrading of the airport was not yet complete.
“Outstanding works are the construction of a new air traffic control tower, fire station and the dualisation of the access roads which constitute phase two of the project,” Hungwe said.
“The outstanding works are estimated to cost $15 million. Funding to complete the project is being sought. The upgrading project has improved the handling capacity from 10% to 15% per annum.”
For the air traffic control tower, government needed $9 million, for the fire station it needed $4 million, whereas for dualisation of access roads it needed $2 million.
The airport has the capacity to handle 1,5 million passengers annually when complete.
The new terminal has a capacity to handle an average of 6 000 aircraft annually and 10 planes at any given time.
Airlines that are using the airport include South Africa Airlink and Air Zimbabwe.
SA Airlink, a South African Airways service, plies the Bulawayo-Johannesburg route daily. Air Zimbabwe flies to Harare and the resort town of Victoria Falls.
Hungwe revealed that the country’s airline industry was growing with 17 international airlines and three domestic airlines already plying the Zimbabwe route.
She said the completion and commissioning of the New Victoria Falls International Airport was yielding positive results, with two prominent African airlines now scheduled to commence flights to Victoria Falls.
These are Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways.
A newly-launched local airline, Rainbow Airlines, plies the Harare-Victoria Falls route and is expected to
introduce the Johannesburg route, Hungwe said.